James J. Fuertes

Q & A with Actor James J. Fuertes of ‘The Odds’

If you’ve ready any of my recent interviews, you know one of my new favorite horror films is The Odds. Recently, I had a chance to interview the Game Master himself, James J. Fuertes.

James is quite the actor and loves a good challenge. His newest role is pretty intense but he delivers a brilliant performance that will make you want to watch the film again. Learn more about his career, details about The Odds, his character, and more. You can now watch The Odds on VOD And Digital HD Platforms.

James J. Fuertes

PopHorror – Hi James, thanks for talking with me! What’s your favorite part of being actor?

James J. Fuertes – Thank you! My favorite part of being an actor is the ability to study, analyze and then create characters. Whether they are comical, serious, intense or laid back, creating characters is one of the more enjoyable parts of this industry. The other favorite aspect of being an actor would be that you get to live out parts of your own life experience through the eyes of someone else.

PopHorror – Great answer. What’s your favorite genre?

James J. Fuertes – That’s a tough question. There are so many amazing films in almost every genre. But if I had to pick one, I very much enjoy watching dramatic films.

The Odds
Poster for The Odds

PopHorror – Your new film The Odds is quite the story. Can you tell us about the film and how the role came about for you?

James J. Fuertes – The film, The Odds, is about two characters – a player, and a game master. We never learn their names, but they come from drastically different backgrounds and life choices that led them to this room. The story is about a woman who’s desperate for a financial break and a man (Game Master) who controls a rather twisted reality game show in which contestants are asked to do gruesome things to their body — with the ability to leave at any moment by the way! I was asked to be a part of this film after another actor who had booked the gig had to bow out for unknown circumstances. They had already cast Abbi Butler and Abbi recommended they use me for the role of the Game Master. Abbi and myself had been in acting class together for quite some time and we were comfortable with our acting styles.

PopHorror – That’s pretty cool! Your character is quite manipulating and frustrating but also charming. Can you tell us what it was like to play a character like that and how you prepared for the role?

James J. Fuertes – People ask me this all the time. I wish I could tell you there’s some magic way to prepare for the role. There’s not. It just comes down to putting in the work: analyzing the script, creating a back story to the character, and not judging your character’s motives, but instead trying to find why your character might think they’re right in what they’re doing, and then live from there. I’m not a method actor, so I don’t stay in that zone for the entirety of shooting. Thankfully. 🙂

But as long as an actor has prepared and done the work, then it’s just a matter of finding parts of yourself in the character and bringing that person out as well. I would say everyone has a dark side, the nice thing about acting is you get to pull that person out for brief moments and fit them to a script. It’s always make believe, but the moments have to be honest and truthful — so there has to be some of you in the role as well.

PopHorror – Another great answer. You and your co-star Abbi Butler had great chemistry on screen. You played well off one another. Did you enjoy working with her?

James J. Fuertes – Abbi is a pro – I very much enjoyed working with her. We had worked previously on numerous scenes in acting class, and we were also friends for quite some time before the movie The Odds so it was easy to work with her on set for the first time. I would imagine if we had not known each other before, creating that chemistry would have been more difficult.

Abbi Butler and James J. Fuertes in The Odds
Abbi Butler and James J. Fuertes in The Odds

PopHorror – True! You’ve done a lot of films and TV appearances over the years. Do you have a favorite film or character?

James J. Fuertes – Favorite film and character I’ve ever been in at this point has been The Odds and the Game Master. While I have played other roles in other films and TV shows – this was the most challenging and yet it was also the one role I was able to fully and comfortably relax into while on set. That might seem strange, but a part of acting is becoming that person when the camera is rolling. If you haven’t fully “become” that person for those brief moments of filming, then it shows and people can see that you’re acting.

If you’re asking if there’s a favorite film or character I’ve seen in other films – my favorite film would be A River Runs Through It – because of the chemistry between the brothers and the chemistry between the sons and the father. For whatever reason those relationships remind me of my own relationship with my dad and my sister. My favorite character in a film/movie would have to be Hans Landa in the movie Inglorious Basterds. Christoph Waltz does so much with that character, and amazingly he’s doing very little physically. There’s an intensity that he can bring to a scene with the smallest of looks, the smallest of gestures, and even when he doesn’t do anything at all and is just staring at a main character. He’s incredible in that role. I tried to model the Game Master off of that character.

PopHorror – I agree with all of the above. Do you think you’d ever like to direct?

James J. Fuertes – I would absolutely LOVE to direct. YES! Even now I’m trying to see what directors are doing in films that I enjoy so that I can try and learn from their examples. I’m working on a couple of projects (which I won’t divulge here 🙂 but when they’re finished I’ll be eager to see what audiences think of them and of my directing style 🙂

PopHorror – I look forward to seeing them! Any other upcoming projects you’d like to talk about?

James J. Fuertes – Yes – there’s a film called Potter’s Ground that we are currently filming. It should be out later this fall for people to watch. It’s a cowboy/civil war/adventure film that I’m very very excited about. I wish I could say more but I can’t at this moment.

About Tori Danielle

Tori has had a passion for Horror and music ever since she was a little girl. She got bit by the writing bug in high school where she was involved in both the school newspaper and the yearbook. While getting her Bachelors degree, she took Journalism and Creative Writing classes where her passion grew even stronger. Now, in between work and family, she spends all of her spare time indulging in music, Horror movies, and nerdy fandoms, all while running/assisting one of the biggest Horror groups on Facebook and writing for various websites.

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